DECKED – A Cool Heavy Duty Truck Bed Storage System For The Outdoor Enthusiast…

If you fish, hunt or any other outdoor activity and are struggling for space check out the Decked website. Their truck bed storage systems look truly fantastic. This week I will be looking on over in person and doing a full write-up soon.

Some quick information on Decked and how they came about.

After over 20 years of battling, band-aiding and otherwise fussing with homemade wooden drawer systems made of plywood, dimension lumber and half the hardware department from True Value, we came to the conclusion that there had to be a better way. Drawers are awesome, especially in the back of your truck, so we couldn’t believe there wasn’t an affordable and compelling solution on the market. So what started out on a napkin in a local diner, evolved into a rabid pursuit to create a product that would make the lives of working men and women better. In 2013, after nearly three years of research, design, and engineering work, DECKED was born. We are passionate about what we do, and we love our customers, so we thought we would share a little something about ourselves.

We too have lived with substandard homemade and even purchased storage systems rattling around in the backs of our pickup trucks for years. Finally, we sat down determined to solve the problem we all faced with our truck beds and produce the best in-vehicle storage system anywhere. We think we did, and we are confident you will too. You’re one of us, and our mission at DECKED is to make your life better.

100% Made in USA

Check out their website below and head back here in a week for a full write-up.

https://decked.com/

Bamboo Fly Rods – Not Just For Your Tweed Wearing, Pipe Smoking Grandfather Anymore…

Beautiful Example of a Chris Lantzy Split-Bamboo Fly Rod

Rod Builder or Artist…. Let’s be honest… When looking at a bamboo fly rod there’s just something about them that elevates them to a level far above any graphite or fiberglass rod. Sure there are fantastic handmade graphite and fiberglass fly rods but they don’t hold a candle to the craftmanship and painstaking time that is required to produce a true work of art like a bamboo fly rod.

Today we are going to dive into the world of a bamboo or split-cane fly rod builder and give you a run down of what models they offer and their pricing.

In today’s world of mass produced products we have come to accept that some of our graphite and fiberglass rods fall into this category but in the bamboo world there is still a level of craftsmanship that goes into producing this type of fly rod. In most cases these rods are expensive but remember the old saying – You Get What You Pay For… So, let’s take a look at a great bamboo fly rod builder.

CHRIS LANTZY – Custom Rod Maker

I decided to start this write-up with Chris primarily because I have a history with him and own a number of his custom made fly fishing pieces. Chris is an incredible person as well as a magician with materials. He truly produces some of my most prized fly fishing possessions with my leather leader wallet being at the top. All his products are handmade in his shop with his hands. If you own any of Chris’s pieces you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Thanks to Chris for allowing me to heist his bio from the website! Why rewrite something that is already there!

A fly rod has always been an important object in Chris’ life. Growing up in North-Western PA close to numerous trout streams Chris’ Mom, Dad, & brother all fished with fly rods. At the ripe old age of seven or eight (nobody can remember just when) his parents bought him his first fiberglass fly rod. Chris has fond memories of his early angling experiences. Everyday after school, & all day on weekends, throughout the spring to early summer he & his family would go fishing. Taking the sport seriously, yet still being a kid, Chris recalls dividing his time along the stream between fishing & playing in the stream-side woods or fields when the fishing was slow. He was allowed to play, so long as he took care of his tackle & didn’t disturb anyone else who was fishing.

Both before & after graduating from college Chris worked as a professional musician and private music instructor. Straight out of school he went to work for a very reputable music store in Pittsburgh, PA as an instrument repair technician. There, working with & learning from some of the most experienced repairmen in the music business, he acquired many of the skills that both musical instrument repair technicians & rod makers employ. Mr. Ron Samson, a master string instrument repairman, was especially helpful to Chris teaching him many skills of the trade. It was during this time when one day, while admiring his Great-Grandpa’s bamboo fly rod, he decided to give rod making a try. He began studying every book on the subject he could find & asking questions to many professional rod makers who kindly helped him along. Armed with the knowledge he gained Chris started designing & building some of the tools necessary in making split-cane rods. This included a set of steel planing forms, binding machine, etc. & he also began making graphite & fiberglass rods, too. Soon his first split-cane fly rod was complete & a love affair with the craft of rod making was born. After all these years he still gets excited upon completing a fly rod.

Soon after becoming a full time rod maker, Chris began making the rod bags & tubes for all his rods. This led him to a serious study of how different fishing accessories are made. Eventually Chris would design & make an entire line of fishing accessories including leather fly wallets, leader wallets, fishing bags, reel cases, etc. – each one made with the same attention to detail as his fly rods.

Chris lives in the rolling hills of Amish farm country in North-Western Pennsylvania among many good fishing waters. Coming from a long line of anglers of the long rod, his rod collection includes the fly rods of his Great Grandpa’s, Grandpa’s, Grandma’s, & that of other family members. He donates a number of his rods to groups that do positive work through fly fishing.

Chris has multiple levels of bamboo fly rods that he produces so everyone has the chance to own one of his pieces of art. Let’s take a look at the different levels of bamboo fly rods that Chris produces.

The Prudential Series

For those of you who want a great casting split-bamboo fly rod, but at an economical price, a Prudential rod is just the rod for you. All rods in this line are 2 piece with 1 tip (2/1). They all feature snake style line guides, chrome stripping guides, & down locking reel seats with walnut spacers with high grade aluminum hardware. You can have any color of silk thread wraps you want. The rod shafts receive several coats of a hand rubbed oil-based finish. They are marked with a personal inscription of your choosing & the maker’s (my) name, rod length, line weight, & serial number. Each rod comes in a cotton flannel rod bag & a custom duck-cloth covered pvc rod tube. These rods are the perfect introduction to the world of bamboo for those of you who have been curious but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. I warn you though, you may never go back to synthetic rods!!!
Prudential rods are available in any 2 piece length & line weight. The most popular are:

6′ 5wt
7′ 4wt
7′-6″ 5wt
Price: $600 + $30 shipping & insurance

Classical Series

All rod blanks are made from the same culm of bamboo. The tips are mirror-matched in node placement & nodes are spaced in the “3×3” method.

Your choice of standard silk wrap colors of red, green, brown, or orange tipped in black. Other colors available at no extra charge.

Hard chrome snake style line guides, chrome stripping guides & plain nickel-silver winding checks. 

Top quality cork grip hand shaped in my shop from premium cork rings. All grips are standard cigar shape.

Nickel-Silver “Super-Z” style ferrules made by Classic Sporting Enterprises. These are, in my opinion, the best quality ferrules available. 

All standard reel seats are down locking & available in a slide-band or screw-locking style. The standard wood spacer is walnut. The hardware is made from high grade aluminum.

All rods come in a cotton flannel rod bag & a custom duck-cloth covered pvc rod tube. As an upgrade option,your rod can also come in a traditional aluminum tube with brass end caps for a small additional cost.

Every rod comes with a personal inscription. Each rod will have the maker’s (my) name, line weight & rod length, & a serial number on one side of the the rod. The other side will have your name or any personal inscription you choose.
All rods 5ft to 8ft in length are available in 2/2 (2 piece/ 2 tip) configuration. Rods 8”6″ to 9′ length are available in 3/2 (3 piece/ 2 tip) configurations. 

Your options for rod length & line weight are many. Chris makes rods from one piece 4′-4″ long to 3 piece 9′ in length & everything in between including all rod actions. 

All 2/2 rods = $865 + $30 shipping & insurance
All 3/2 rods = $995 + $30 shipping & insurance

Custom Series

These are truly custom rods. Here, anything goes. You & Chris work together to make a rod that is truly unique to you. Every aspect of the rod is exactly what you want it to be. Each rod comes standard with everything listed for the Classical Serieswith the following exceptions:

Your choice of snake style line guides of hard chrome with standard twist or special hand twisted, stainless steel in a reverse “British” twist. (see below)

Wraps in any color of silk thread you want. 

All reel seat hardware is made from Nickel-Silver & are the finest reel seats available. You choose from many different wood spacers & styles of reel seats.

The winding check is made from Nickel-Silver with finely detailed knurling around the edges. 

Agate stripping guides are standard on all Custom series rods & you can choose between many different colors of stone.

All Custom series rods come in a traditional aluminum rod tube with brass end caps.

You can upgrade these rods with anything you want including custom engraving on the rod metal, custom reel seats, feather inlays, silk wrap colors, etc. With these rods we are limited only by our imagination. Contact me for other options.

All 2/2 rods= $1155 + $30 shipping & insurance
All 3/2 rods= $1270 + $30 shipping & insurance

And.. If you are going to have a work of art fly rod like Chris produces why would you want to store it in a regular rod tube… You wouldn’t and that’s where Chris’s leather rod tubes stand out above the rest.

Just like the canvas covered PVC rod tubes, these leather tubes can be made to fit most size of fly rods, to an exact fit for your rod. We do this because if the rod tube is longer than the rod inside, it will slide back & forth, jostling the rod inside. That’s not good & you don’t want that. Sliding back & forth inside the tube is absolutely no good for your fly rod, especially those delicate tips!! To get the best fit for your rod, please measure the total length of your fly rod -in it’s bag – & give me that measurement. Both ends of these rod tubes have thick, dense foam padding to protect the rod inside.

The top edge of the pipe is slightly beveled. This is done to make sliding the rod in & out of the tube easier – there’s no hard edge to catch any line guides on, just a nice & smooth surface. The heavy canvas shoulder strap is not only adjustable, but easily removed for convenience when traveling, or packing the rod tube. The leather itself is tightly stitched to the aluminum tube, by hand, for a perfect fit.

The aluminum tube used here is heavy-walled (1/8″ thick) which makes these tubes heavier than what you’re most likely used to. We use these heavy tubes because if you’re housing a special rod, you want to protect it well & a thick, strong tube will do just that.

These rod tubes will be available in both brown & mahogany colored leathers (brown shown in the photos). Customization is possible & priced accordingly, depending on your requests. Please contact me with any questions you have & to discuss your rod tube.

​As these tubes are special order items that are made completely by hand, there will be a short wait time for them to be made for you. You can pay in full up front, or if you prefer, a down payment of half the total can be made to begin the tube, the second half due only after your rod tubes are completed. 

Price: 2/1 or 2/2 rods = $275 + shipping
          3/2 or 4 pc rods = $350 + shipping 

In closing.. Like I said earlier… I have known Chris for a while now and the products he produces are second to none. Not only will you enjoy them but they are true heirloom quality and the little fly fisherperson in your life will enjoy them as well. In addition if you have any questions just know that Chris is unbelievable to work with and every question you have will be answered. He is a true craftsman. Chris can be reached at – customrodmaker@gmail.com or visit his website to see all of the awesome products he produces.

https://flyrods.weebly.com/

A Great Small Stream Fiberglass 2wt Fly Rod That Won’t Break The Bank… The Moonlit Lunar S-GLASS.

In the fly fishing world there are those that only target large fish and then there are those that love the challenge of fishing small spring creeks and streams for tiny fish. I fall into the later and absolutely love fishing very small water for elusive tiny trout. With this type of fishing everyone knows you need a small fly rod and Moonlit Fly Fishing has just the rod to meet your needs. The rod is the Moonlit Lunar S-GLASS and its a truly great line of rods ranging from the tiny 2wt to an 8wt. So let’s give you a quick run down of what this rod has to offer.

First let’s introduce you to the mastermind behind Moonlit Fly Fishing – Brandon Moon. Now I have worked with a lot of vendors, suppliers and manufacturers and Brandon is right at the top of truly fantastic people not only for his knowledge but all around customer service. I tend to not speak for others but I feel confident in saying that if you have a question about the multitude of items Brandon has on his website if you drop him a line I guarantee you will get a quick response.

Before we get back to the fly rod write-up I want to let everyone know that if you are a furled leader person look no further than Brandon’s furled leaders. Truly amazing leaders… some won’t fish anything but traditional mono or fluorocarbon leaders but if you’ve never tried a furled leader you owe it to yourself to at least give one a try and Brandon’s are a great place to look. As long as he is producing furled leaders that’s what I will be using.

Now back to the Moonlit Lunar S-GLASS 2wt fly rod… Let’s look at the information and description from the Moonlit page.

An Old Glass Feel with a Modern Twist
Our NEW Lunar Series of S-Glass rods have been designed to have an old glass feel but lighter weight with a bit faster action, we have been able to do this with today’s new age advanced fiberglass materials and the expertise of our rod designer.

Fast Recovering Tip
One thing we don’t like in many glass rods is an overly soft tip that robs your casting energy, and give you arm fatigue. We designed the Lunar rods to have a fast recovering tip that eliminates over oscillation so the rod’s casting energy goes straight into your line without the wobble.

Progressive Taper with Reserved Power
The progressive action allows you to make smooth accurate short to medium casts but it also has a lot of reserved power to bomb the line out there when needed.

Excellent Roll Casts
The Lunar rods with their deep rod flex are also excellent at performing accurate roll casts.

Compact 4 Piece Rods
All the Lunar rods are a 4 piece which compacts down great for traveling and backpacking.

Several Sizes to Choose From
The Lunar rods will come in sizes 2wt, 3wt, 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, 7wt, and 8wt giving you many options to fit your wants and needs. Each size will be a different color.

Bold But Classy
These rods are bold colors like the glass rods people have loved with a nicely done white accent near the handle. The finish and classy wraps are about as good as it gets from a factory produced rod, we paid attention to the details. This is not just a rod that will love to use but a rod that well stand out visually.

Lifetime Warranty
One thing we do differently in the glass world is offer an easy lifetime warranty. Instead of making you ship your rod into us for repairs, for a $45 warranty fee we send the replacement parts right to you, so you are back to fishing faster.

I have been slinging Moonlit Lunar S-Glass rods for a couple of years now and from my personal experience I can tell you.. for a fiberglass rod it’s right at the top of my list. They are truly a great rod and at $179.99 they are a steal. With all the rods I own when I head out on the river here I always take a Moonlit rod with me. I will usually use multiple rods but the most enjoyable rod is almost always the Moonlit I have with me. The 2wt its a little slower rod than the other Lunars in the line-up but that should be expected for a light little 6’6″ 2wt fly rod. So… if you are in the market for a 2wt fly rod look no further than the Moonlit Lunar S-GLASS 2wt. I promise you won’t be disappointed and at $179.99 you will be getting a great bang for your buck. – It’s butter smooth..

You can see all of Brandon’s fly rods, furled leaders, fly tying material and supplies and accessories at his website – https://moonlitflyfishing.com/

Think I will head over and pick up a few furled leaders….

It’s Time To Get Started Again After The Pandemic… First Up – PAKMULE Cargo Carriers

Good afternoon and we are excited to get started again with the outdoor reviews and previews that all of our followers want to see. In the next 3-4 days we are going to be doing a full preview of a great cargo carrier produced by PAKMULE. As a cargo carrier owner I can tell you they are a game changer for anyone heading out on their trips whether it be on a stream or into the woods. The cargo carrier that I currently own is all steel and horribly heavy. Not only is it hard to move around and store but also getting it hooked up to the back of the truck. The PAKMULE line of carriers are aluminum which is far lighter than steel and the way I will be moving forward.

So… I tracked down a Pakmule carrier since I don’t own one so I could take a look. The positives.. It’s light… really really light but you would expect that for an aluminum carrier rather than a full steel carrier like I own. A couple of things.. Will aluminum stand up to a beating like steel will? Is there truly any difference on your tow vehicle when having a steel rack weight rather than the light aluminum option. I truly doubt it but there might be a small difference. All my research leads me back to the difference in using an aluminum carrier in your receiver rather than steel is a very small difference which is almost irrelevant. In my opinion it comes down to how you store your cargo carrier between uses and how difficult is it to get it on your vehicle by yourself. As you can see by the price there is a large difference between the Pakmule aluminum carrier and a standard Harbor Freight/Wal-Mart steel carrier. The Pakmule comes in at $795 (Ouch) compared to a steel version that you can pick up for $150-$200. Would I love to try out a Pakmule = Absolutely but currently I have a steel carrier that I have had for 5 years and its still going strong and there is no need to put out $800 for one. For now I will just hold onto what I have but I have to admit the Pakmule is a really nice lightweight carrier for anyone that has the funds to drop on one.

As you know I am truly transparent and if there is an issue with a product it comes out in these write-ups. Like I stated earlier I have seen a Pakmule carrier up close and they are fantastic carriers and I love the idea of being able to move it and put it on my vehicle without the struggle of a heavy steel carrier but… My attempts at communication with the Pakmule salespeople/customer support has been pathetic to say the least. My first email to Pakmule stated what I was going to write about and someone there sent me a big thumbs up type email – maybe 2 sentences. Next I sent a couple of emails to support/customer service just asking questions about the product. NO RESPONSE… NONE…. I racked it up to maybe COVID issues with short staffed or might be that their customer service is lacking. Guess we will never know.

In summary.. if you have $800 to drop on a cargo carrier this is the carrier for you. It’s built incredibly well and it’s LIGHT… I love the Pakmule carriers but for now $800 is a little steep for me. Look them up at the website link below.

Thanks for your continued support of Bang For Your Buck Outdoor Reviews and we are excited to get back to providing the reviews you want to see. Take care and check back often for new information.

You can visit PAKMULE’s website at – https://pakmule.com/

Snug As A Bug In A Rug… Hammock Gear – The Epitome Of Warmth & Comfort…

You probably have heard of the phrase used in the title – Snug As A Bug In A Rug.. But if not you probably think I’m crazy.. Well.. the phrase was first used 1769 was first used to mean “very cozy and comfortable”. The first use of the phrase was probably alluding to a moth larva happily feeding inside a rolled-up carpet. Although we don’t want moths anywhere near our sleeping gear you get the point.

Hammock Gear was established back in 2009 just outside of Columbus, OH and they pride themselves on using only the highest quality materials to make their awesome products – like insulation products which is what we are going to briefly look over today.

I love this statement on their website – Drawing on the expertise of our team members, as well as the experience of our customers, we are constantly striving to improve our line of products preferred by hammock and ground campers alike. This combination of expertise and high expectation is the foundation of our mission as a manufacturer of outdoor recreational gear.

I have talked to numerous people that absolutely love their HG products. From my interactions with the company and the people there, they are different. It’s not easy to explain a feeling you get but when talking to them they are open, helpful, responsive and just plain nice and by the way they make amazing gear. Let’s dive into a few quick items.

HG has a couple different lines of Insulation for you to choose from and inside those two option (Economy and Premium) there area multitude of options you can select to drill down to exactly what you want.

First – Currently HG is running a sale on all STOCK and CUSTOM QUILTS ! Use “EQUINOX” at checkout for 15% off and any order over $99 receives FREE SHIPPING inside the USA.

Let’s first look at their Economy Top and Under Quilts.

Instead of me trying to reinvent the wheel below is what HG has listed on their site describing their Economy line.

I’m going to give you a quick glimpse at what their products are about with the description of the Economy Burrow Top Quilt… I think you will get the picture. With the numerous different options available for Economy Stock Top, Economy Under Stock, Economy Incubator Stock, Economy Incubator Custom…… and the list goes on.. It would take days to list everything. So below is a quick look at one of the products and you can head over to their website to see the full line and descriptions available. Below is a list of products with their corresponding link to the HG webpage.

The Economy Burrow top quilt works well for ground sleepers (make sure you order the wide width) and hammock sleepers alike.  With a Economy Burrow you can rest assured that when those temperatures plummet, you will remain toasty warm.  Our top quilts feature a half taper design and vertical torso baffles, which helps to make sure you have proper side coverage to your hips, while also saving a little bit of weight due to the tapered footbox.  We have two options for foot boxes, zipper and sewn.  The zipper footbox is more versatile, allowing you to unzip and lay the quilt out flat.  The sewn footbox should be utilized if you only camp in cold weather, and don’t need to vent the top quilt.  Each top quilt comes standard with grosgrain loops along the sides of the quilt to allow ease of attaching our Ground Pad Attachment Kit, which comes in handy if you sleep on an insulated pad.  Our Economy Burrow is 15-20% overfilled to help minimize down migration and prolong the loft of the down over time and use.

Hammock Gear is committed to providing down products that meet RDS (Responsible Down Standard).  RDS certifies that geese and ducks are treated ethically (no live plucking or force feeding) and the down is traceable back to the source.  Both our Premium and Economy quilts use down that meets the Responsible Down Standard. 

The Temperature Rating corresponds to the Colors available for each quilts available in both Standard Width or Wide Width as well as Zipper or Sewn Footbox:

40° = Burnt Orange 20D outer shell / Charcoal Gray 20D inner shell

30° = Dark Olive Green 20D outer shell / Charcoal Gray 20D inner shell

20° = Moroccan Blue 20D outer shell / Charcoal Gray 20D inner shell

10° = Black 20D outer shell / Charcoal Gray 20D inner shell

0°   = Charcoal Gray 20D outer shell / Black 20D inner shell

Economy Top Quilts – https://hammockgear.com/economy-top-quilts/

Economy Under Quilts – https://hammockgear.com/economy-under-quilts/

Premium Top Quilts – https://hammockgear.com/premium-top-quilts/

Premium Under Quilts – https://hammockgear.com/premium-under-quilts/

Prices Range From $139.95 for an Economy Top Quilt and up depending on the customizable options you choose.. As an example here is what I plan on looking at in the near future.

Premium Burrow Custom – 10 Degree Rating – Standard Length – Wide Width (Because I sleep in a tent as well) – Zipper Footbed – 850 Down Fill (950 Available) – Overfill 2 Ounces (Overfill available in 1-4 ounces) – With a Ground Pad Kit – My Total is $334.94. And I selected probably the coolest color combo of Cobalt Blue Outer Shell with Burnt Orange Inner Shell!!

After dealing with HG for a while now I have the utmost confidence in what they are doing and bringing to us outdoors folk… Head over to their website and pick up an awesome piece of insulation at a discount. At the same time you are helping a great company during this amazingly difficult quarantine time. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with their products and especially their commitment to you the consumer. Hands down one of the best customer service groups around. Check ’em out…

https://hammockgear.com/

My Thought Process On Gear Reviews And Why I Don’t Participate In Affiliate Programs…

First.. Yes I know the title is long but it is what it is! I have been asked multiple times in the past few weeks how I do reviews and why I think I am different. So here goes.

First.. Do I review the gear for what it is only.. It’s actually pretty simple for me. I write reviews about how I I like a particular piece of gear whether it be a fly rod, sleeping bag, pair of hiking boots or a tent. I also give my thoughts about the company that produces the gear as well. What kind of company are they, do they produce a great piece of gear and harm the environment at the same time, are they doing their part to preserve… I think you get the point. And lastly I give my thoughts about the people I have dealt with inside of those companies. I tend to tell it like it is and if a company has great products but the people aren’t friendly it gets included in my write-up. For me it’s a package deal. If you have a good product but the person I email or talk to is arrogant or off putting it’s going to get included and I don’t purchase from those kind of companies. It’s how I am. You may disagree but that’s your opinion.

Second.. I am asked all the time to be a part of company affiliate programs. Are they great programs.. usually so.. Do I participate in them? No! You ask why? Affiliate programs are great for people that do reviews and want to make money at the same time. Would I like extra money in my pocket while doing reviews and would allow me to purchase more gear to review? Absolutely. So why not… Well.. In my opinion, if I am a part of an affiliate program if makes things a little grey.. Am I reviewing the gear for what it is or is my ability to make money sending you to buy that particular item clouding my judgement to a degree. Also.. what is the perception of those that are reading my reviews. Does the reader take what I say with a grain of salt and question if the product I give a glowing review for is truly that great because I am a part of their affiliate program? As you can see this is a little sticky to say the least. Hence the reason I kindly decline offers to be a part of affiliate programs and keep doing what I do without getting paid to sell something.

That’s it.. Short but sweet explanation of what I do, how I do it and how I can sleep at night knowing I am giving an honest review of a product. As always thanks for your support by reading and sending all your great messages and keep watching for more reviews.

Tenkara Rod Co. – The Beartooth Rod – Collapses to 14″…

I have Tenkara rods from a couple different companies and I have to say they are a joy to fish. Are tenkara rods for everyone… maybe not. But if you haven’t tried tenkara fishing you really should give it a shot.

So today we bring you a great option for backpackers or people that just don’t have space when they are trekking out to a stream. Introducing the Tenkara Rod Co. and their new rod – The Beartooth !

Hold up captain… so what is Tenkara fishing? Well if you are a fly fisherman and have been living under a rock let me give you what Tenkara Rod Co. quickly describes as tenkara fishing. – Tenkara is a simplified method of fly fishing that comes from Japan.  With Tenkara, you use rod, line and fly.  There is no reel.  This is a fixed line style of fishing where you rely solely on the length of rod and line to reach your casting zone.

That should explain it and I have to say it’s fun and incredibly simplistic.

Now back to The Beartooth Tenkara Rod…

Background story of how the Tenkara Rod Co. started. Stolen from their website – Sorry Drew!! Lol

The founders of Tenkara Rod Co. are Drew and Tuna.  Drew spent 6 years of his life in Japan and has always had an affinity for Japanese culture, and Tuna had been an avid fly fisherman since he first discovered it.  When the two friends came together with this idea for a company built around the Japanese method of fly fishing it just made so much sense.

Tenkara Rod Co. was born on Kickstarter 7 years ago with our first project for the Teton and Sawtooth rods.  Since then, we have done multiple other kickstarter projects and shipped tens of thousands of Tenkara rods all over the world.  We definitely love to fish, but we also really enjoy helping other people to get outside and enjoy nature through Tenkara fishing.

As you can see Drew and Tuna like the Kickstarter path and the new Beartooth rod heads down the same path. This is now their 5th Kickstarter so they know what they are doing and as with most Kickstarters this is an opportunity to get an awesome product earlier than it hits the shelves.

From the Tenkara Site again….

Five years ago we released the Mini Sawtooth and Mini Teton rods.  They were our original pocket rods.  At 8ft and 12ft people always asked us what the difference was.  In an effort to make things less confusing we took elements from each of those rods and combined them into The Beartooth.  At 10ft. in length, The Beartooth is a perfect balance of our older rods, and is now our go to mini rod.

This is our fifth Kickstarter campaign. So by now we have experiences all of the challenges that come with running a kickstarter project and how to overcome them. We have been manufacturing Tenkara rods for 7 years now and we are confident that we can deliver a quality product on time. We have been testing and using this rod for over a year now and we are definitely ready to bring this to market.

Let’s look at the package options for The Beartooth…

The link to the Kickstarter is below and by looking at the page.. For a goal of $10,000 and pledged to date of $42,256 that should tell you something. PEOPLE LOVE THE TENKARA ROD CO!! And.. They want the new Beartooth rod!! So get over to Kickstarter and reserve yours today. I am!!

Video about the Beartooth Tenkara Rod below.. Give it a watch and click the K in the top left corner to direct you to the Kickstarter website dedicated to The Beartooth.

I am a huge fan of Drew and his company so give them a shot.. You won’t be disappointed.

You can also visit The Tenkara Rod Co. website to see all their amazing products at – https://www.tenkararodco.com/

You Might Be Quarantined But We All Still Need Gear!!

Good afternoon and I hope everyone is getting through this amazingly stressful time. In an effort to keep busy I have been reaching out to some amazing people that produce some amazing gear and as we all know their business depends on people and most of those people are stuck inside their homes. For the most part we can’t get out doing what we love… fly fishing, backpacking, camping, etc.. but we can still support them. Over the next week or so I am going to be bringing you one or more quick write-up about these people so make sure you check in each day to see who has been spotlighted.

This is also a great time to go through all your gear, donate the items you don’t use anymore and support these companies and individuals by buying some cool new gear you will be using in the near future.

I will get this started tomorrow and some of the names are:

Avalon7 – https://avalon7.com/

JP Ross & Co – https://www.jprossflyrods.com/

Rheos Sunglasses – https://www.rheosgear.com/

Custom Fly Fishing Rods By Chris Lantzy – https://flyrods.weebly.com/

Hammock Gear – https://hammockgear.com/

Tenkara Rod Co. – https://www.tenkararodco.com/

Derek DeYoung – Artist – https://www.derekdeyoung.com/

Moonlit Fly Fishing – https://moonlitflyfishing.com/

DRAGONtail Tenkara – https://dragontailtenkara.com/

and more!!

Check back starting tomorrow for our first one or two profiles!

RHEOS Sunglasses – A Great Polarized Option Without Breaking The Bank – And They Float!!

Everyone needs sunglasses.. Not sure people that fish but EVERYONE!! When I’m looking for glasses I have a few things I have to check on my list to fit my needs.

  • Are they polarized
  • Do they have a decent amount of style to them
  • Do they block the sun from burning my retinas!!
  • UV Protection
  • Great Warranty
  • and lastly… DO THEY FLOAT ??

When I first started talking to Rheos I was skeptical if a pair of sunglasses that were $55 would meet my needs and have any quality at all. And.. floating is a huge must for me being not only a fisherman but also an every weekend lake person.

Order was placed for a couple pair of Rheos glasses and I chose to go with the Bahias model. They fit the look I wanted and were at a great price point – $55.

Bahias (Sport) in Tortoise – Amber

The two pair of glasses arrived and came in a cool package.. At the end of the day this isn’t a must for me. I opened the box and inside were both pair of glasses and in a standard bag.

After getting the glasses out of their bag I looked them over and they are truly a good quality pair of glasses. Especially at a price point barely north of $50. The next test.. Do they actually float? THEY ABSOLUTELY DO!!

They FLOAT!!

Let’s back up.. Yes floating glasses are nice but there is a backstory why floating is a must.. As I said earlier I am an every weekend lake person. I am on docks, boats and in the water constantly and in the sun where sunglasses are a must. three years ago I was floating in the water with a large group, wearing my Oakley prescription sunglasses.. Someone decided it was a great idea to push my head under in their stupid drunken state and what happened? Yes my glasses were ripped from my face and before I knew it at the bottom of the lake. Now you know why floating in a must have in a pair of glasses I own.

I couldn’t be happier with my Rheos glasses as they definitely check every box on my needs list.

Enough of my stories.. Let’s go over some information about Rheos glasses and in particular the Bahias (Sport) I own. As usual when I do a review I steal content from the actual website of the product and this review is no different. Why would I try to describe the features of a product when the company has done a good job themselves… So here we go and thanks to Lejend and the Rheos team!!

About The Bahias

Polarized Floating Sunglasses – Bahias

The Bahias frame is dedicated to one of the best kitesurfing locations in the western hemisphere, Bahia Salinas in Costa Rica (though we may be a little bias because that is where our team first learned to kitesurf so many years ago). The mini sport-style frame is perfect if you are looking for a smaller fit of an athletic style, complete with full-wrap for wind protection.

Nylon is the biggest innovation in eyewear since polarization. The science behind our new Nylon Optics collection means every fisher, boater, surfer and mermaid-in-disguise will have clear vision on the water without any optical distortion. And unlike heavy, bulky shades, our lightweight floating frames will never sink.

Beginning in 2020, all Rheos shades will be outfitted with the latest innovation in sunglass technology: Nylon Optics. These lenses are clearer than glass and light enough to be the most comfortable sunglasses you’ve ever worn. This technology allows us to develop optics of the highest quality and class at an accessible price point like no one else in the world.

How Do They Float?

The basic principles of buoyancy apply: when an object displaces water, the heavier of the two sink. Meaning, if 2 oz. of water is displaced and the water weighs just barely more than the object, then the water sinks and the object floats. With that in mind, our frames are made of the highly durable and ultra-lightweight specialty Nylon material. These frames weigh approximately 30% less than similar sunglasses moulded in polycarbonate, all while maintaining a hyper-durable structure to ensure comfort for long-term wear and floating capability. Because our shades weigh less and displace the same amount of water as standard frames, ours float while theirs sink.

How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

Light is made up of waves traveling in different directions. Vertical light is useful to the human eye; it helps us see. But when light strikes a flat surface, such as a lake, snow, or even your car or boat windshield, it changes to horizontal light and creates a glare. Polarized sunglasses block horizontal light, so you don’t see the glare. And nobody likes glare. It’s just about that simple.

And.. there is a lot more information on the Rheos website.. Below is a link to check out and better understand how they make their glasses and explaining the features. I have to admit.. I actually learned things about sunglasses that I didn’t know just from reading this page. Truly great information!

https://www.rheosgear.com/pages/floating-sunglasses-technology

  • + Sport frame shades for men and women
    + Polarized NYLON lenses as clear as glass
    + 100% UV protection and polarization
    + Long-lasting comfort with featherlight frames
    + Floatable design for life on the water
    + Outstanding impact and scratch resistance
    + Backed by our Saltwater Promise
    Designed with love in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Did you know? A portion of your purchase will go directly to nonprofit organizations that defend our coastlines and waterways.

**NOTE** It should’t have to be said but I will say it anyway.. I picked up the Bahias as they filled what I needed in a pair of sunglasses. Obviously Rheos has far more models than the Bahias.. Below is a link to the page of different models they offer.

https://www.rheosgear.com/pages/floating-sunglasses

And.. Not only do they offer sunglasses for adults they have a kids line as well! AWESOME!!

Lastly let’s give you a little background on Rheos Nautical Eyewear. From the Rheos website (again!)

Our story is the same as yours – We love life on the water.

The Rheos Story

Like you, we feel most at home when surfing, fishing, kayaking, you name it. If there is a body of water nearby, we’re there! But we want to be protected while we play. 

Sun damage is up to four times more harmful when reflected off water’s surface, yet only half of Americans wear sunglasses when near a body of water. Why? Fear of damage, sinking or loss. We believe your sunglasses should protect you and not the other way around. 

 That’s why we designed the best sunglasses for the water. No more sinking, no more breakage. Just adventure.Since launching in 2016, we’ve grown a strong community of fishers, paddlers, surfers and mermaids-in-disguise.

Who We Are

We are paddlers, fishers, surfers, and mermaids-in-disguise. We didn’t just make floating sunglasses. We made the best sunglasses in the world… and then we made them float. 

Our team is small but mighty. Based out of the coastal city of Charleston, SC, we need water to breathe.

The Rheos River

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus.  Rheos is the Greek word for river current. Just like our brand philosophy, a river is constantly flowing, constantly changing, and most importantly, it carves its own path.

Doing Good

As a member of 1% for the Planet, we promise to give back at least 1% of our annual revenue to nonprofits that support environmental causes. 

We partner with local groups to advocate for our waterways, and as a team we regularly volunteer to keep our beaches and marshes clean.  

I know that was a lot of information but after using the Rheos sunglasses I am passionate about what they are all about and the products they are putting out there… Give them a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Now I just need to get my hands on a few more pair! Next Up.. Maybe a pair of Coopers (Square) in Gunmetal Thermal and Waders in Gunmetal Gunmetal… As you can see there are a lot of options and I need more!!

Check them out!!

https://www.rheosgear.com/

Six Days And Counting – Big City, Polo Clubs, Amazing Steak and Wine and Chasing Giant Golden Dorado With Alejandro Pozzi…

BUENOS AIRES – ARGENTINA

In a short six days I’ll be driving to the airport with my lovely wife and will begin the long trek to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Leg one gets us to Dallas and then the long 11 hour overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Over the 10 days in Argentina there will be lots of steak and wine with fly fishing and a trip to the Polo Club. Should be a memorable time.

Check back for a few posts while we are down there. There will be a few fishing posts but we might sprinkle in a few posts about Buenos Aires in general to give people an idea of what can be seen and done in this cool city. So.. Let’s go over some of the details of the trip…

Lodging… Since we will be there for 10 days we have decided to split our time between two different hotels.

Four Seasons Buenos Aires

The Lodging – Two Amazing Places

Nights 1-4 we will be staying at the Fours Seasons Buenos Aires. Who wouldn’t want to stay at a cool place like that.

Nights 5-8 we will be at the Melia Recoleta Plaza. Another great looking hotel. We opted not to go for the rustic lodge feel this time around.

The Melia Recoleta Plaza Hotel – Buenos Aires

The FoodMeat, Meat and More Meat and Then Some Wine

The national dish of Argentina is Asados which is a variety of barbecued meats and then wash it down with a bottle or two of Malbec. One night we will be giving Las Nazarenas a try. From the many recommendations I have received this is the place to be. Mark it down!!

Las Nazarenas

The GuideThe Man / The Myth / The Legend – Alejandro Pozzi

When traveling to a foreign country there is always a slight level of unknown you are dealing with and when fly fishing the need to find a great guide is incredibly important. So when I started my research of the best fly fishing guides in the Buenos Aires area everything kept coming back to Alejandro Pozzi… Initially I reached out to Alejandro and laid out what my plan was for the trip and that I would be doing gear reviews and he was 100% on board. I’ve never dealt with a guide that was more accommodating and willing to share information than Alejandro. The guy is absolutely solid in my books and I can’t wait to fish with him.

Alejandro Pozzi and a Beautiful Golden Dorado

The Gear – Bring On The 8 Weights

As with any time you are on the water there are numerous pieces of gear you take and use but we are going to start with a quick look at the two fly rod/fly reel combos we are taking.

Combo 1 – Scott Tidal Fly Rod – 9′ 8 weight / Redington Behemoth 7/8 Reel / Rio Summer Redfish WF8F Fly Line

Combo 2 – Moonlit Lunar S-Glass 8’6″ 8wt Fiberglass Fly Rod / Big Y Fly Company – The General 7/8 Reel / Rio InTouch Big Nasty WF8F Fly Line

So we are taking a graphite rod and a fiberglass rods with two fairly similar reel types but different lines on each reel. Two totally different rod and reel setups and I would image will fish different as well.

Check back in a week for another post after we arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina!!